Search site
Cymraeg

Foster family aim to lift spirits in lockdown

A foster family in Swansea have been using their time in lockdown to try and spread and little hope and happiness to people in their community.

Lisa&Harriet

Lisa Merrett, who fosters children with Swansea Council's fostering service Foster Swansea, her young daughter Harriet (pictured) and the young person she cares for have created over 40 rainbow posters complete with positive quotes which they have laminated and tied to lamp posts near where they live.

They have called them 'Posts of Love', hoping to give strength and positivity to other people whilst they are out on their daily walk and they have already had some lovely feedback from passers-by.

Lisa said: "This is a very tough time for all of us at the moment but it is important to keep occupied and keep positive. Every day we do different activities that are fun and new. It is helping us get through these challenging times.

"My goal is to ensure that both my daughter and the young person I care for, feel safe amongst all the worry. We are also using the time to learn new skills."

"Being a foster carer isn't always plain-sailing and there will be challenges, more so at the moment. However it's important that people know that they will receive extensive support and guidance from the Foster Swansea team, foster carers and other professionals. You are never on your own. The challenges will be outweighed but the enormous satisfaction gained from playing an important part in a child's life. I urge those people who are interested in becoming a foster carer, to contact Foster Swansea."

The young person in Lisa's care said her time spent with Lisa and her daughter had been very positive despite the lockdown.

They said: "Foster care has given me the ability to try new things, focus on my goals and future, work on my mental and physical health. It has also allowed me to finally not have to worry about so much and reflect on everything. Foster care has been the best thing that could have happened to me and my siblings.

"Even through this pandemic I've experienced new things like an egg hunt on Easter. It was such a happy and fun experience that I'll never forget. My foster family is the best! I'm so glad I've got them and now they will always be my family which I'll love and cherish for life."

Other Foster carers have been baking, building dens, creating artistic masterpieces and gardening among other activities

To mark this year's Foster Care Fortnight (May 11 to 24), Swansea Council is not only appealing for prospective foster carers to come forward but also celebrating the work of its current foster carers.

Councillor Sam Pritchard, Cabinet Member for Children's Services (Young people), said: "I'd like to say a massive thank you to all of our 148 foster carers for everything they are doing for their foster children in these extremely unprecedented times. Our foster carers are all ordinary people, but they do an extraordinary thing."

The theme of this year's awareness campaign is #ThisIsFostering, which is an opportunity to raise the profile of fostering, celebrate the amazing work that foster carers do, as well as highlight the real need for more fostering families to look after vulnerable children in Swansea. Foster care is a way of providing looked after children and young people with a caring and nurturing environment, during a period where their own family is unable to look after them.

Cllr Elliott King, Cabinet Member for Children's Services (Early Years), said: "All too often, fostering stories that make the headlines paint a negative image of the foster care system. However, it's very important that people are informed about the accurate and positive picture of foster care. In reality it can transform the lives of vulnerable children and young people and can provide a lifeline for so many. There is a social network, a community, that work together to help children live safe, loving and happy lives."

Like all local authorities, Foster Swansea needs to recruit more foster carers to care for local children. Currently there is particular need for foster carers who can provide placements for sibling groups, older children, children with complex needs and placements where the parent is placed alongside their child in foster care for guidance and support on their parenting.

In return, you will receive excellent training opportunities, 24/7 unrivalled support, and generous financial payments. In additional you become part of wider community with other fostering households.

For further information about becoming a foster carer, call 0300 555 0111/01792 533212 or visit www.swansea.org.uk 

Powered by GOSS iCM